In this collection of short stories, all save two have been previously published in various similarly named high-profile fantasy anthologies: The Restless Dead (2007), The Faery Reel (2007), and The Eternal Kiss (2009). Here, they’re brought together to present a multifaceted view of one of YA-dom’s most prominent urban fantasists. Cults of immortality seekers clamor to get bitten by vampires in “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown,” and a teenager makes a chilling sacrifice to save a neighbor and the boy she thinks she loves. Ever mindful that forbidden romance is a natural waltzing partner with dark fantasy, Black slips a sly coming-out element into “In Vodka Veritas,” where a secret private-school sect turns prom night into a Dionysian frenzy. To close out the volume, Black performs a neat bit of tinkering with structure in the title story, as a king reveals to his son and would-be poisoner an ingenious and surreal plot to exact revenge through a trio of venomous-to-the-touch sisters. Fans of her novels will relish this one-stop resource for Black’s dark, edgy, and imaginative storytelling. Grades 9-12. --Ian Chipman
Black’s first story collection assures her place as a modern fantasy master
. Sly humor, vivid characters, each word perfectly chosen: These stories deserve reading again and again.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Black (the Good Neighbors series) proves equally adept at urban fantasy and more traditional fairy tales, and her stories often feature the edgy sexuality and angst that have become her trademarks.”
"Black's got all the supernatural bases covered: vampires, fairies, an elf, a unicorn, wolves, the devil, and a spell-wielding high school Latin club.... Although they are often centered on bleak, dark characters, the pieces inspire hope, are touching and delightful, and even turn the most ghoulish characters into feeling beings."
School Library Journal
"Compelling, rich and engaging."
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Books
"Gritty, grim, and fabulousHolly is a master of dark magic and dark reality!"
Tamora Pierce (author of Bloodhound)
"Holly Black is the Real Thing: a gifted writer with a solid grounding in what matters. Her stories are dark and splendid blooms rising from roots sunk deep in myth and tradition."
Ellen Kushner (author of The Privilege of the Sword)
"Simply put, Holly Black is one of our best writers. Enchanting and edgy, yes, but it's the big heart in her stories that brings me back to her writing, time and again. Reading a new book by Holly is like meeting up with an old friend. They might be a little messed up from the last time you saw them, they might have some serious drama going on in their lives, but the connection is immediate, and when they're packing up to head off again, you don't want to let them go."
Charles de Lint (author of The Blue Girl)
Praise for Holly Black’s books:
Black’s series [is] considered to have kick-started the fairy trend in young adult fantasy.”
New York Times Book Review
"Black has an eye for the telling detail that brings the most minor character to life."
Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Dark, edgy, beautifully written, and compulsively readable, this is sure to be a word-of-mouth hit with teens, even a few usually unmoved by magic and monsters."